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Tomatoes or Tomato Pickers? - Free Trade and Migration in the NAFTA Case

Author

Listed:
  • Amaranta Melchor del Río

    () (University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics)

  • Susanne Thorwarth

    () (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between trade liberalisation and migration in the case of Mexico. The increasing bilateral trade between Mexico and the United States after signing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was supposed to stem the illegal Mexican migration flow by contributing to economic growth and job creation in both countries. Twelve years after the treaty has come into effect questions emerge to what extent NAFTA was able to reduce the migration pressure: are trade and migration substitutes like the policy-makers had assumed or are they complements? Using monthly data from 1966 until 2004 we estimate a distributed lag model with the number of apprehensions at the US-Mexican border as a proxy for illegal migration. The results indicate that increasing trade flows cause larger illegal migration from Mexico to the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Amaranta Melchor del Río & Susanne Thorwarth, 2006. "Tomatoes or Tomato Pickers? - Free Trade and Migration in the NAFTA Case," Working Papers 0429, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0429
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    File URL: http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/awi/forschung/dp429.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fida Karam, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and the Skill Composition of Migrant Flows: the Case of Morocco," Working Papers 595, Economic Research Forum, revised 07 Jan 2011.
    2. Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas & Lodefalk, Magnus, 2017. "Anti-Migration as a Threat to Internationalization?," Ratio Working Papers 302, The Ratio Institute.
    3. Aghion, Edouard, 2011. "NAFTA and its Impact on Mexico," MPRA Paper 36529, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; International Trade; Distributed Lag Model; Mexico; NAFTA;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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